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Penland School of Craft Spring Concentration

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My spring season in the ceramics concentration at Penland School of Craft was an exploration in form, touch, finish, and friendmaking. Most of the artists I met at Penland were at major points of life transition; leaving jobs, relationships and homes with optimism, and trusting that whatever comes next is going to be okay.  I cherished the youthful, expectant, spring newborn chickens vibe, which will forever represent for me a special time for rest and refinement.

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Our teacher, Cynthia Bringle brought 50+ years of experience to the studio, and taught in a unique way.  A couple times each day, she sat at her potters wheel at the front of the room and quietly demonstrated our next task.  Many instructors talk their way through a demo, giving step by step instructions while their audience shifts between doodling and watching. Cynthia Bringle’s lesson is a lesson for the eye.  Many times, if you looked away, you missed it!  We absolutely had to watch in order to learn.  If someone asked a question about a step, her hands, or a tool, she would deflect, and reply in good humor by asking “Would you like me to do it again?”

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The answer was always “Yes!”  We would watch again and again, each time taking away a new observation.  She was giving us an eye for editing our own work.  Also, she gave a mode for learning and experimenting that was heavy on fundamentals, but completely freeing.  Our experimentation, or whatever individual flair we thought worth trying, was rooted in lightness, balance, and form; a quick union of what the hand feels and the eye sees.

Flavors of Winter, Collaborating with Chefs Melissa King and Mei Lin

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A proud moment in my clay object making career. Talented and dedicated chefs carefully plating the soup course in my bowls.  A multi-course private dinner for 50.  A collaboration with Top Chef contestants Mei Lin and Melissa King.  And an opportunity to go public with what I love to do.  Talk it out. Make it happen. Share the goods.

IMG_54481/50 of my 8oz stoneware bowls with mild green glaze.  A celery root puree with asian pear, coffee butter, and other deliciousness.

Photo Kudos to Pork Belly Studio

Works In Progress

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After several weeks of cranking out 50 bowls here, 50 mugs there, I wanted to be a little creative and try something special.  A large basin, built to hold and transport cups, tumblers, or saucers.

Photo kudos to my iphone.